Cubs prospect Tyler Colvin wins Opening Day job

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In a surprise move, the Cubs have decided to keep 24-year-old outfield prospect Tyler Colvin on the Opening Day roster. Colvin is slated for a bench role, although manager Lou Piniella said that he hopes to find the former first-round pick 2-3 starts per week.
Piniella cited Colvin’s outstanding spring training performance as the reason for making the team, but basing decisions on 20 exhibition games against inconsistent levels of competition is usually a mistake and I’m not sure what the big rush is with Colvin.
He’s been excellent this spring and hit .300 with an .859 OPS in 89 games at Double-A last season, but he had an ugly 57/16 K/BB ratio in the process and before that Colvin struggled so much at Double-A the previous season that the Cubs demoted him back to Single-A.
His plate discipline and strike-zone control have improved, but only from horrendous to merely bad, and Colvin has yet to log a single plate appearance at Triple-A. Why jump him from Double-A to the majors just so he can mostly sit on the bench behind Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, Kosuke Fukudome, and Xavier Nady? Why not send him to Triple-A, let him prove that his recent success is for real, and call him up when you actually need him?

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.